By Brock Ellis
THE classy and eloquent Rydges Hotel in Melbourne played host to the official press conference for "The Homecoming", which will be headlined by Australia's undefeated IBO super-featherweight champion "Wild" Will Tomlinson (18-0-1, 12 KOs) - who will be making the first defence of his recently acquired title against Mexican live-wire Daniel "Cañerito" Ruiz (27-4-1, 19 KOs).
Both fighters were respectful in their praise for one another, while making assurances that the sold-to-capacity crowd at The Melbourne Pavilion, Australia's home of championship boxing, are in for a hellacious battle come tomorrow night (AEST Time).
Such is the anticipation for the Tomlinson's first title defence, which is supported by a strong local undercard, the event has been sold-out for almost a month leading into the nationally televised event.
Tomlinson, 25, who is considered to be leading the line of Australia's next generation of champions, was flanked by his team led by manager Fidel Tukel and head-trainer Lincoln Hudson, praised the enthusiastic crowd for their appearance on uncharacteristically cold Melbourne day and had this to say about his defence against Ruiz.
"All the lights are shining on me now, I'm planning on making the most out of this situation. I'm not going to let the big stage and bright lights effect me - it never has in the past." said Tomlinson
Tomlinson won the IBO super-featherweight title with a gruelling effort in a blood and guts battle with Mexican Alan Herrera last November on the undercard of Green-Wlodarczyk in Perth in an Australian Fight of the Year candidate.
"I'm going into this fight as hungry as I've ever been, I'm going into the ring as the champion but I've got to fight like the challenger. I'm going to fight hard and do whatever I have to do to win." he continued.
Internationally renowned boxing official Steve Smoger was present at the press conference and stated how excited he is to be the third-man in the ring for this fight.
"They only know one way to fight - and that's forward. This is going to be an explosive evening and I'm truly honoured to be here." exclaimed Smoger.
A composed and respectful Ruiz, 22, spoke through an interpreter and made his intent clear very early on.
"I'm here to win, let's get that straight. I didn't travel for 36-hours not to give my best effort."
Tomlinson and Ruiz share one common opponent in Alan Herrera, whom Tomlinson defeated (UD12) although he holds a win over Ruiz (UD10).
"I am very close with Alan (Herrera) and we have spoken extensively about Tomlinson's style, tactics and what I can capitalise on." said Ruiz. "I may have lost to Herrera, but that was early in my career - I was young and although I lost I dropped him twice."
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